We've got some heavyweight matchups in the NFL this week like Jets at Patriots and Steelers at Ravens, but we've also got some big favorites too. The Eagles are a nine-point favorite while the Packers and Chiefs are double-digit favorites. Yes, we live in an NFL era where the Kansas Chiefs are now laying double-digit points. Parity! Without further ado, here's the Week 13 picks.
Houston Texans at Philadelphia Eagles (-9) - This game actually opened with the Eagles laying seven and has grown to nine, so clearly there's a lot of money going to Philadelphia here and with good reason. These teams are playing on three days' rest which clearly favors the home team. Plus, the Eagles bring the NFC's 3rd best passing attack against the NFL's second worst pass defense in this game.
Considering the Eagles put up a combined 53 points on two of the best defenses in the NFL the past two weeks, Michael Vick and co have the potential to light it up this week. That said, the Texans offense can score and the Eagles D has been shaky. More often than not though, the Eagles D has played well at home. This is a lot of points, but I still like the Eagles here. Pick: Eagles
New Orleans Saints (-7) at Cincinnati Bengals - The Bengals might actually be the worst team in the NFL. This game opened with the Saints laying 6.5, which would have been a steal. The line has crept up to 7, which makes this a little dicey. A full touchdown on the road is always rough, but the Saints are playing well and the Bengals are just awful. Plus, the Saints are working on extra rest having played on Thanksgiving. Pick: Saints
Chicago Bears (-3) at Detroit Lions - Got to be the pick of the week here, especially given the news that the Lions will start 3rd string QB Drew Stanton. The Bears are brimming with confidence after their win against the Eagles last week and have the toughest remaining schedule of any NFC playoff contender. So this game is really a must win for them. I'm really surprised the line isn't higher. Pick: Bears
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers (-11) - This is a big number, but that said the game looks like a pretty big mismatch. The 49ers just won their first road game this week against the lowly Cardinals and now they've got the second half of back to back road games. That's always a bad sign. Couple that with the fact that they lost Frank Gore for the year and this game could be very ugly. Brian Westbrook found a fountain of youth against the Cardinals, but I wouldn't bet on a repeat performance against the league's stingiest defense. I don't really like this game, but I'd take the Pack. Pick: Green Bay
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (-10) - The line has rocketed up after opening at 6.5, which actually sounds much more reasonable to me. That said, the Chiefs are a great home team and Broncos have a propensity for getting blown out. Plus, I'm not sure if there's a coach I have less faith in than Josh McDaniels. Denver has one road win this year and that was two months ago. Okay, I've talked myself into it. I'm taking KC and this ridiculous line. Don't like the game though. Pick: Chiefs
Cleveland Browns at Miami Dolphins (-4) - This is a tough game to pick because of the Browns injuries. We don't yet know whether they'll get Colt McCoy or Josh Cribbs back. Miami's got a good defense and should make for a nice matchup with Peyton Hillis. Then again, Miami stinks at home. Going on the assumption that Jake Delhomme starts for Cleveland... Pick: Dolphins
Buffalo Bills at Minnesota Vikings (-5.5) - Interesting that this line as come down from -6.5, it looks like money is going Buffalo's way. They played the Steelers tough last week and have really been the victim of a ton of close or fluky losses all year. I think this game is close. I would have loved the Bills getting 6.5, but I still like them getting the 5.5 Pick: Bills
Washington Redskins at New York Giants (-8.5) - The Giants are still beat up, turnover prone and inconsistent. Of course, so are the Redskins. I don't trust the Skins to go on the road and beat NY, but I just have a feeling that this won't be a blowout. Donovan McNabb has always played well against the Giants and I could really see him keeping this within a touchdown. Pick: Redskins
Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers (-13.5) - Are people on the Chargers bandwagon or what? This line has moved up a point this week making San Diego the biggest favorite of the week. Just three weeks ago the Raiders were riding a three game win streak and their offense was on fire. The past two weeks they've been blown out. They really burned me when I picked them as 9.5 point dogs to the Steelers. I suppose I haven't learned my lesson, but I'd love if this line nudged up to 14. Pick: Raiders
Atlanta Falcons (-1.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Gut check time for Tampa here. They get to prove whether they're contenders or pretenders this week. They're the only 7-4 home dog this week, so maybe that provides a little extra motivation against the NFC south rival Falcons. Tampa has actually not been a particularly good home team and they've yet to beat a team with a winning record. It's interesting that this line has actually gone down a point during the week, which means money has gone to Tampa... I still don't buy the Bucs. Pick: Falcons
Dallas Cowboys at Indianapolis Colts (-5) - This line hasn't moved an inch this week, which is indicative of how tough this game is to pick. I don't think Peyton Manning is going to let that Colts team lose three in a row. The Cowboys are playing better though and I could really see this being a FG game. The fact that the Colts aren't double-digit favorites at home against a three-win team shows just how far they've fallen in people's eyes this year. I'd stay away from this game. Pick: Cowboys
Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks (-7) - I'd say Seattle doesn't deserve to be 7 point favorites over anyone, but of course the Panthers exist... I don't know why anyone would bet on this game. How could you trust either team to do anything? Pick: Seahawks
Pittsburgh Steelers At Baltimore Ravens (-2.5) - Pittsburgh is 3-2 in its last five games with two of its wins coming against a pair of two-win teams. Their other win was the Raiders. I think their reputation is preceding them a bit with this line being less than 3. I love the Ravens in this game. Pick: Ravens
NY Jets at New England Patriots (-3) - I can't wait to watch this game. This is just going to be fun. Two good teams, they hate each other, the No. 1 seed in the AFC and the AFC East is probably on the line... Maybe the best Monday Night Football matchup of the year. I say the Jets' luck runs out. Pick: Patriots